42. RUN WITH THE BULLS
Sometimes it’s the fate of a good writer to bear the blame for what he inspires a bunch of idiots to do. Hunter S. Thompson is on the hook for a generation convinced it’s charming to be a drug-addicted asshole. Jack Kerouac spawned a million annoying vagabonds. And then, of course, there’s Ernest Hemingway, who has to answer not only for reams of bad, muscular prose but also for turning the San Fermín festival, celebrated in the town of Pamplona, Spain, into a three-minute institutionalized rite of passage, offering a frisson of real danger to the proceedings without being automatically fatal. It’s worth remembering, though, that courting death is not, ipso facto, cool. If there were a contest in Toledo where you drank a bottle of Drano and saw what happened, would you be proud to tell stories about it over dinner?